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Latest news from TRAFFIC


New hunting law passed in Russia

Siberian Musk Deer: the Russian parliament has passed new legislation on wildlife hunting and conservation of hunting resources Click photo to enlarge © Grigori MAZMANYANTS / WWF-Canon  en Français

Moscow, Russia, 21 July 2009—In an historic move, the Russian parliament has passed new legislation on wildlife hunting and conservation of hunting resources.

Russia’s only previous hunting law was signed by Emperor Alexander III in 1892, but repealed in 1917 following the Russian Revolution.

Since then, hunting in Russia has been governed by a series of decrees and court orders.

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Ha Noi’s Environmental Police seize frozen Tiger and Tiger bones

Police experts inspect the latest Tiger seizure in Ha Noi—the third there this year Click photo to enlarge © Tran Quang Cuong / Hanoi Environmental Police en Français l in Japanese

Ha Noi, Viet Nam, 17 July 2009—Ha Noi’s Environmental Police have seized a frozen Tiger and more than 11 kg of Tiger bones that had been transported from Thanh Hoa Province to Ha Noi via taxi.

Headed by Tran Quang Cuong, the Ha Noi Environmental Police stopped a suspicious looking taxi at the Hoang Cau Stadium in Dong Da District of Ha Noi at 6am on Thursday 16th July.

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France backs ban on Northern Bluefin Tuna trade

France and Monarco are backing a ban on international trade in Northern Bluefin Tuna Click on photo to enlarge © Brian J Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF en Français l in Japanese

Update: on 17 July, Huw Irranca-Davies, the UK fisheries minister, announced the UK would also support a listing of Northern Bluefin Tuna in CITES...and the Dutch fisheries minister, Gerda Verburg, joined the call for a ban too, on 21 July. And Germany's Federal Environmental Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, did so on 23 July

Rome, Italy/Paris, France, 16 July 2009—President Nicolas Sarkozy of France today announced his country’s support for a ban of international trade in endangered Northern Bluefin Tuna, joining a growing call to list the overexploited fish under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Speaking at the close of a national stakeholder consultation on France’s future sustainable fisheries and maritime policy, the “Grenelle de la Mer,” President Sarkozy said: “France supports listing bluefin tuna on the CITES convention to ban international trade.”

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Toothless laws encourage rising demand for Asian pangolins

Rising demand for pangolins for their meat, scales and skin is wiping the animals out of Southeast Asia, according to pangolin experts Click photo to enlarge © Bjorn Olesen  Updates: On 15 July, Guangzhou Customs officials seized more than a tonne—1194 kg—of frozen pangolins and 602 kg of dry rat snake skins. Life for ring leader of wildlife smuggling gang who trafficked 2,000 pangolins and other animals in China. In India, Assam Rifles troops make several pangolin seizures in July. Details at end of release.

in Chinese l en Français l in Japanese

Singapore, 14 July 2009—rising demand for pangolins, mostly from mainland China, compounded by lax laws is wiping out the unique toothless anteaters from their native habitats in Southeast Asia, according to a group of leading pangolin experts.

Illegal trade in Asian pangolin meat and scales has caused the scaly anteaters to disappear from large swathes of Cambodia, Viet Nam and Lao PDR, concluded a panel of experts whose findings were announced today by the wildlife trade monitoring network, TRAFFIC.

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Little swimmers make big splash for wildlife

Bangkok's Garden International School pupils have fun raising funds for TRAFFIC. Click to enlargeen Français

Bangkok, Thailand, 10 July 2009 – They swam, they paddled and those who could not, just blew bubbles in the Garden International School’s swim-a-thon, which raised USD1500 for wildlife.

The school, which traditionally holds a charity event each year, donates the proceeds to a cause. This year the school chose to support TRAFFIC’s work in Southeast Asia.

About 160 pupils at the school splashed or swam according to their ability, in the sponsored swim event organised by teacher Basia Filzek.

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Tiger farming too great a gamble—World Bank

The World Bank says Tiger farming is not in the interests of wild Tiger conservation and should be phased out Click photo to enlarge © Kirsten Conrad en Français

Geneva, Switzerland, 9 July 2009—Experimenting with Tiger farming is too risky and could drive wild Tigers further toward extinction, the World Bank told a key international wildlife trade meeting today.

“Extinction is irreversible, so prudence and precaution suggest that the risks of legalized farming are too great a gamble for the world to take,” World Bank Director Keshav Varma told the member countries of the 58th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Standing Committee.

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Poaching crisis as rhino horn demand booms in Asia

An upsurge in rhino poaching, driven by demand from Asia for their horns, is threatening rhino populations worldwide Click photo to enlarge © Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon  

Postscript: less than a week after this report was announced, authorities in Kenya seized 2 Black Rhino horns and 16 elephant tusks off a plane travelling from Mozambique to Lao PDR via Nairobi and Thailand.

Geneva, Switzerland, 9 July 2009—Rhino poaching worldwide is poised to hit a 15-year-high driven by Asian demand for horns, according to new research.

Poachers in Africa and Asia are killing an ever increasing number of rhinos—an estimated two to three a week in some areas—to meet a growing demand for horns believed in some countries to have medicinal value, according to a briefing to a key international wildlife trade body by WWF, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and their affiliated wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.

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Better co-operation the key to CITES implementation

Delegates from Poland, the Ukraine, Lithuania and Belarus met this June to develop a joint approach to implementation of CITES regulations in the region Click photo to enlarge © TRAFFIC   Biebrza National Park, Poland, 7 July 2009—52 participants from 4 countries in Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus) concluded that better cross-border sharing of information was key to implementation of CITES regulations in the region.

The meeting took place this June in Poland and participants included officers from a variety of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) enforcement authorities, including Management Authorities, Scientific Authorities, Customs, police, and environmental inspectorates.

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World’s Customs linked through ENVIRONET

An Australian Customs Officer inspects a haul of confiscated wildlife products Click photo to enlarge © Adam OSWELL / WWF-Canon   en Français

Cambridge, UK, 22 June 2009—the World Customs Organization (WCO) has launched ENVIRONET, a secure internet-based tool to share information quickly and securely amongst environmental law enforcement officers worldwide to enhance environmental border protection.

Customs officers need rapid access to information—for example, expert opinion of the identity of wildlife parts in trade, or information about the legality of exporting particular items, and now they will now able to draw on the expertise of colleagues world-wide.

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